Entomology (Study of Bugs)/carpet beetles

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Question
I have been having a problem with these carpet beetles and last year during the summer I started noticing them and I vacuumed the car throughly and used a spray used for carpet beetles and I am again seeing them again.  They usually come out when its warmer weather, can you please tell me how to get rid of them once and for all because they are so disgusting and I dont want to have bugs in my car especially with a child.

Please help,

Annie

Answer
Annie:

Sounds like you are doing what you need to do:  vacuuming, otherwise keeping the car clean of any potential foodstuffs that could sustain carpet beetles.

Do your pets ever ride in the car?  Shed hair and skin flakes from pets (and people) can sustain a small population of carpet beetle larvae.  Anything else of animal origin, such as pet food, cured meats, wool blankets or garments, etc can also support carpet beetle larvae.

Lastly, at this time of year the beetles are emerging outdoors, too.  They fly well, often attracted to flowers where they feed on pollen and nectar.  Some may simply blunder into your car in the course of dispersing.

I'd avoid using chemical controls and focus on thoroughly cleaning your car regularly.  Good luck, carpet beetles are nearly impossible to exclude completely from homes (and vehicles), even when you do all that you can.  They are just that insidious.

P.S.  All the above assumes the insects in question really *are* carpet beetles.

Eric

Entomology (Study of Bugs)

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Eric R. Eaton

Expertise

I answer insect and spider identification questions ONLY. Attach images if possible. No "what bit me?", "what do I feed this bug in captivity?", or science fair project questions please. NO TECHNICAL QUESTIONS ABOUT INSECT PHYSIOLOGY.

Experience

Principal author, Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America. Professional entomologist employed previously at University of Massachusetts, Chase Studio, Inc., and Cincinnati Zoo; contract work for West Virginia Department of Natural Resources, Smithsonian Institution, and Portland (Oregon) State University.

Publications
Author, Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America, Missouri Conservationist magazine, Ranger Rick, Birds & Blooms, Timeline (journal of the Ohio Historical Society). I have contributed to several books as well.

Education/Credentials
Oregon State University, undergraduate major in entomology, did not receive degree.

Awards and Honors
One of the top 50 experts in all categories for AllExperts.com, 2009.

Past/Present Clients
Principal author of the Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America, Smithsonian Institution (contract), Cincinnati Zoo (employer), Portland State University (contract), Chase Studio, Inc (employer), Arkansas Museum of Discovery (guest speaker). Currently seeking speaking engagements, leadership roles at nature festivals, workshops, and ecotours.

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